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Inspecting a print for the exhibit - AK
The creation of the exhibit at Chicago Airport originally came from an idea suggested by Project Photographer Karen Hirsch. As a resident of Chicago, Karen was aware that the Chicago Dept. of Aviation were keen supporters of the Arts, and regularly hosted exhibitions in the region's three airports. Karen approached the Dept. of Aviation with the idea, and set up a meeting to show a copy of the book to Promotions Director Deanna Shoss.

Deanna and the rest of the promotions department loved the project, and felt the exhibit would fit in well as part of the O'Hare Visiting Curator Series. The exhibition was agreed upon and installation was set for the beginning of May 2001, the time when a previous exhibition was being taken down.

The exhibit is loaded up for the drive to Chicago! - AK
The exhibit needed a sponsor with a global vision, and a sponsor that was comfortable with a highly accelerated lead time. Yahoo! Photos stepped up to the challenge, and a sponsorship agreement was reached on April 16th, just three weeks before the exhibition was due to be installed.

With so little time to physically produce the exhibit, the decision was made to work with the photographic materials in hand. This meant either using the same digital scans or e-mail files that had originally been used for the book, or in some cases re-scanning prints or slides.

The challenge faced was that all of the images needed to be enlarged to more than six feet in size. Some of the images had been made with low resolution consumer digital cameras for instance, which don't exactly lend themselves to such large display. The production team led by Project Founder and Exhibit Curator Alx Klive were a little nervous.

Installation of the Exhibit at O'Hare - AK
"When I told the staff at BGM Imaging (a Toronto digital imaging company) what we had to work with, and what we were trying to achieve, they practically shook their heads in disbelief. We had almost no time to experiment, so I just told them to go for it. Amazingly it worked better than anyone could have imagined."

The process that was used is a semi-photographic 'Lambda' process that exposes huge sheets of photographic paper (actually a roll) using a laser. The result is a continuous tone image of remarkable detail that does a very good job of interpolation. For those technically inclined, the smallest digital file used was just 1.5MB in size, which was run through a fractal interpolation program before going to the Lambda press. Despite this incredibly small size (to produce a 6 feet x 4 feet print), the results were simply astonishing.

Installation is complete! - AK
The exhibit was transported overground to Chicago on Saturday May 5th, and was installed right on schedule on Monday May 7th/8th. The installation was performed by Terry Dowd and Associates, a Chicago art exhibit installation company.

Unlike the book which is arranged thematically, the photos in the exhibit are laid out in chronological order covering the 24 hours from noon on December 31st 1999, to noon on January 1st 2000.

From go ahead to installation - just 21 days!

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